The Zagreb County Court has dismissed Luka Burilović’s appeal as unfounded, thereby confirming the first-instance decision of the Municipal Court, according to which Boris Dežulović did not write falsehoods or insult the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy in his column “Banja Luka Burilović,” published in Novosti in 2021, reports portalnovosti.com.
Burilović, as the publisher of Novosti, had sought 40,000 kuna in damages plus interest and payment of court costs from the Serbian National Council. Instead, the court decided that Burilović must pay the litigation costs to the SNV, represented by lawyer Lina Budak, amounting to 870.99 euros plus interest.
The court concluded that the author had expressed his values and opinions about Burilović’s educational and business success based on truthful information, and that the plaintiff is a public figure. It is emphasized that Dežulović was not obliged to contact Burilović before writing the column because he presented a value judgment and commentary based on facts that the author had reasonable grounds to believe were true, as they had been previously published and the plaintiff had not denied them.
In the lawsuit, Burilović claimed that Dežulović severely damaged his reputation, that his entire immediate and extended family suffered severe consequences due to the text, and that others now recognize him as a person prone to unlawful and wrongful actions and a man who obtained his education under highly questionable circumstances, which the court did not accept.
He was particularly bothered by Dežulović’s statement that he graduated from the University for Business Studies in Banja Luka, which is located on the first two floors of the building, while on the floor above, there was a pole dance learning studio, and on the fourth floor, apartments for rent that allegedly offer the services of prostitutes, as reported by the Inforadar portal, whose journalists visited the building. The decision is final.